electrical home inspection pro spect

electrical home inspection pro spect home inspection

 

Purchasing a home is a huge investment, and if that home has any kind of electrical issues can cost you a bucket of money, but even scarier than that it could cost the lives of your family.

You need to be sure that the electrical system is robust enough to run your home’s appliances, HVAC, lighting, etc. efficiently and safely.

The inspector will conduct an electrical home inspection that will not only check to be sure the wiring is intact and safe; but also for any damage that may be a result of critters chewing through lines.

Electrical Systems Home Inspection

  • The wiring is in good condition
  • Service panel has the normal capacity with cables attached correctly
  • Cables are secured and protected
  • No exposed electrical splices

An electrical home inspection checklist helps you work through the possibilities with a lower risk of overlooking something important. Here are six essential elements to include in your home inspection checklist.

  • #1: Electrical Service Panel or Load Center

The service panel, also called the load center, is the heart of electricity in a home. Either mounted on a wall inside or outside the dwelling, it contains breakers—fuses if it’s older—and wires that create circuits in the house.

What to look for:

  • Loose breakers
  • Visible damage
  • Charring or burn marks
  • Pennies behind fuses (extremely dangerous, as the copper prevents fuses from blowing if they’re overloaded)
  • Breakers that feel warm
  • No main disconnect switch
  • #2: Federal Pacific Brand Service Panel.

If the load center is Federal Pacific brand, it needs closer inspection. Not all Federal Pacific breaker panels are defective, but defective ones are notorious fire starters. Look for FP Stab-Lok breakers. If present, the load center is an immediate fire hazard.

  • #3: Aluminum Wiring.

Many homes with aluminum wiring remain safe for years. But aluminum has (at least) two problems.

Where it exists, the wiring is probably at least 40 years old and needs an update. And aluminum is softer than copper and doesn’t conduct electricity as well. and as time passes, aluminum can expand and contract to loosen connections, causing a fire hazard.

Aluminum isn’t inherently dangerous, although it has issues.  Some insurance companies won’t insure a house that isn’t wired in copper.

  • #4: Push-in Connections at Receptacles.

It’s generally accepted that push-in connections were developed for the DIY electrician. Most professional electricians wire in receptacles using the binding head screw on the side rather than a push-in connection on the back. Although they’re generally safe, Inspectapedia says push-in connections have less contact with the wire and can damage copper and aluminum.

  • #5: Overlamping Light Fixtures.

While it’s not a wiring problem, it is a fire hazard.

Overlamping happens when a homeowner uses a higher wattage light bulb (lamp) than what is recommended for the fixture.

With a higher-wattage bulb, the fixture can heat up, melt, and start a fire.

  • #6: GFCI Protection in Kitchens and Other Wet Areas.

Every kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room needs outlets with ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI protection. GFCI outlets have a test button and some are labeled. But standard outlets might also have protection if the circuit is powered by a GFCI outlet in the breaker panel.

Electricity touches every room in nearly every house. Even closets have wiring. Many attics and basements do, as well. With so many possibilities for defects and the fire hazards that accompany them, the electrical inspection is arguably one of the most important for any home. But once you develop a Sample Home Inspection Report checklist, fewer defects will have a chance to slip past you.

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